4 February 2011 - Still No Portal for the HD



I have just confirmed with Customer Support at Humax that today's update is for the HDR-Fox T2 only. This update enables the TV Portal and does other fixes.

Last week the OTA update listed for both was pulled and the current one replaced it without any notice from Humax. They state that the HD update is "a bit more complicated" and will be out "in a week or two". Obviously they found a last minute glitch and had to alter the header to only work on the HDR.

Well I did offer to beta test but they did not get back to me!
I know what you mean. Got all excited this morning with the news it was finally here, but no matter how hard I tried the box couldn't find it. Then I read your post. We've been let down yet again and treated like poor relations. Still at least you got any answer from Humax, I couldn't even get that!

When the TV Portal is available on the HD, is it likely to require that I have a hard drive connected to it for watching things like iPlayer, or will I just be able to stream it straight to the TV?
When the TV Portal is available on the HD, is it likely to require that I have a hard drive connected to it for watching things like iPlayer, or will I just be able to stream it straight to the TV?

No, you don't need a hard drive connected.
Anyone's guess. I seem to remember that the previous one for the Hd T2 was available for download before it went over the air. But I guess it all depends on the availability of ota slots.
Well, another month gone, and still no sign of the portal for us lesser mortals who only have the HD model. Not even any signs of Humax wanting to tell anyone what's going on. All they seem to be able to find time to do at the moment is support the Argos trawl for email addresses in the guise of a competition. Me feeling bitter, whatever makes you think that ;)
Looks like it's going to be a long wait for the update. In the latest announcement on their Facebook page Humax say that the update is still be worked on, and that they will let us know if they get a definite delivery date for this month. Which sounds like it's going to be April at the earliest. If the BBC continue to slim down iplayer, by the time the update comes along there may not be much to left to watch .:(
Where is their Facebook page?

I email them again last month and got a fairly vague answer: "We currently do not have an estimated time of arrival as it is still being tested and developed further".
here http://www.facebook.com/HumaxUK

I can only speculate their one man team of developer in korea has had to move on to work on updating the German portal softwear, being so behind schedule and will get back to us once he's coverd europe, hopefully in this decade not counting any delays.
You reckon that they have as much as one whole man working full time on these things? I would guess nearer one fag-break a week.
You reckon that they have as much as one whole man working full time on these things? I would guess nearer one fag-break a week.
Another setting of expection:

From Graham North email:
"We also hope to have further developments on the "Portal" for the HDR-Fox T2 and the HD-FOX T2 within the next few weeks and I will email again as soon as the details are available."

Who knows.. perhaps there were developments
I see on their Facebook Page Humax claim the portal is in testing but will a few weeks yet. So that'll be at least another month then, and we are already nearly two months behind the later HD model.
Now we're at the end of the next month - with still no word what so ever - I (along with others) have been doing some investigating into the problems that seem to be going on. For those interested the HDR and HD have very different structures to their underlying flash programing, despite this giving the same results, and a very similar file system structure at the end.

Basicly the HDR contains all of its file system in two flash files, which write to two different memory locations when flashed to the box. One contains the main file system, and one contains the database(s) - Hence the databse does not get re-written every time it is updated etc.

The HD on the other end, has what appears to be four/five sperate flash memory areas, and the the HDF file contains a seperate update for each of these areas. The 'TVS software' - which is compiled into a file called HumaxTV is in one of these memory blocks on its own, and is then mounted into /usr/bin on the root file system (which is in another block)

The reason behind such a difference when they were designed remains unclear (at least to me anyway) - however it may have something to do with how memory is addresses with the different chips in the boxes - This needs some more investigation if anybody is up for doing this????

Anyway the bottom line is that while on the HDR you have what seems to be 16mbytes of flash to get the whole file system into you have lots of smaller blocks (that when combined add upto 16mbytes) on the HD - and hence you can't shrink/ remove code from one bit to make room for a bigger bit in another area without splitting your program up into lib's, and putting these into other flash areas.

So - to conclude it dose seem that there may well be some sort of technical problem with the portal on the HD which is delaying things, and this may well be due to the size of the flash memory, and how it is devided up (or not in the case of the HDR) - While this is only pure speculation, which happens to some degree to fit the avalible facts, much more research is going to ben needed to come up with a solution/answer to this problem ourselves.

One other interesting bit of information to consider is that there were quite a number of long drawn out negotiations with the BBC and Sky about the security etc of the portal system, and this may well have increased the size of the software beyond what humax was expecting to need when the designed the box.

One solution which would seem sinple is to move the 'TV Software' onto an external hard drive, and then mount this into the root file system instead, and this is one area of research that may well develope over time. - However the only real way of getting the portal onto the HD would be to copy the 'TV Software' from the HDR onto the HD - this obviously will have a number of issues as for example the HDR has two tuners - but I suspect with some work, and the creation of dummy devices etc it would be feasable - but would have some issues.
I've just come across a post on Digital Spy from a guy who emailed Humax last week and received a reply saying
The TV Portal is not yet available on the HD-Fox T2 but we hope to be releasing the software for this on our beta site within the next week.
, presumably meaning by the end of this week. Do I believe this will actually happen..... Well sadly based on past promises of this sort, that's a bit of a no brainer. Still I'd love to be proved wrong.

It's finally here. TV portal update is now available on the Humax Beta web site.

I've just downloaded and installed the update without any issues. I've briefly tried the portal and that seems to work OK, but is a bit slow. I'll have more of a chance to play with this tonight. I hope the HD sound drop out issue really is finally sorted as that's been bugging me on surround sound broadcasts

I notice they say "SD / HD Audio balanced". Hopefully this is something they have finally sorted and this will appear on the HDR soon.
Wow - well that was the longest "couple of weeks" I've every experienced - I'm really hoping it now functions the same as the HDR when copying a recording to another volume (ie removes the encryption) so we can finally back up and edit recordings (as well as enabling media server functionality with af123 and co's splendid patches) Will find out tonight...